Positive Action Group - Possan Jantys Jarrooagh

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Home Opinion Government Finance Webcasting / Taking Liberties

Webcasting / Taking Liberties

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Watching them watching us

Our ‘two part’ October PAG evening, unexpectedly, evolved into a common theme: the use and abuse of technology in the political process. A sizeable audience, including eight MHK’s and one member of Legco, listened to a presentation by a representative from public-i on webcasting.

For the uninitiated this is parliament televised on the internet. The obvious benefits of being able to view and listen to Tynwald proceedings at your leisure were expanded upon to show the benefits of more direct communication between the voter and the politician.

Some novel spin off's of the system were also described. Namely, that the media are prevented from spinning and filtering the political message. Also, it is seen as a useful way of encouraging younger voters to take a more active interest in the political process.

In short, it means the voters use technology to make Government more democratic. Keith Young, CEO hosted a lively question and answer debate with most questioners seeming broadly in favour of webcasting.

About forty PAG members and the public stayed for the second half devoted to the film ‘Taking Liberties’. This graphically illustrated the political culture in the UK where the politicians are using technology in the reverse sense - namely to monitor and control the electorate.

A highly topical issue given last weeks political controversy over the introduction by some Primary schools in the Isle of Man of biometric finger printing of children.

The film presented the case against ID cards and surveillance - issues which may come to affect the Isle of Man. It showed how in the different political culture of the UK, freedom, liberty and privacy have all been eroded as a result of a disenfranchised electorate.

All in all, a long, but highly topical and thought provoking evening.

‘Taking Liberties’ is released by the ‘Revolver Group’ and the DVD can be purchased direct from them.

More information on webcasting:

Local Government Channel   Welsh Assembly    Scilly Isles    Public-I   Wikipedia

More info on ‘Taking Liberties’:

Guardian review   Internet Movie Database   BBC review   Daily Mirror review


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